How blogging works these days

Blogging. It's the elephant in the room with this site/website/web destination. People have always asked me to write something about it because I get very animated when someone calls me a blogger instead of a writer and I work for a big box site, so I'm kinda obliged to lift the curtain a little.

I've never been a fan of being called a blogger, partly because it downgrades the fact I've been writing for a helluva lot longer than I've been blogging. And when I say helluva a lot longer, factor in that I'm still 25, a 'helluva a lot' means three years or more. My main problem with it, is that I'm not sure when the line between blogging and writing stops. If I write for Esquire's site, it's called writing. If I write it for Selectism, it's called blogging. A lot of the time there's next to no difference in the words I write, just the platform it's on.

In the launch issue of Port magazine, Jon Snow called the current way of reporting 'sausage machine' reporting. It's pretty apt in blogging too. We've all seen the results - the same pictures of the same event being posted up on every site at the same time. Or worse, the same pictures of the same event being posted on one site first and then being endlessly reblogged around the world. So how does this happen? Let me explain through an example of an event I attended a few weeks back.

I attend an event with all intentions to take pictures, post them up myself that same night. But hold on, the invite says I'm not allowed to take pictures. So I don't. Quite why they don't allow pictures, I don't know. How in earth will I get some original content if have the content creation process isn't allowed? I understand the banning of shitty, blurry twitpic 'first looks' (to be a first look, I have to be able to see what's going on in the picture) but this is just ridiculous. The next morning an established magazine gets the exclusive, which means that (a) everyone who's interested has already seen it and (b) makes any write up I do on the event redundant.

So I don't write anything about it. A couple of days later I'll get an email from the PR handily telling me that I can just reblog the established magazine's original post (which has been on the net for two days and is now, in crazed internet terms, old news) or I can use their exclusive pictures. The same exclusive pictures that were given to said established magazine. Great, that helps a lot.

Another scenario is the faux-personal email. You'll get an email from a company promising you an exclusive look at their collection. So you download the pictures, resize them and wait a couple of hours before you post them up. But by the time you've posted it up, what do you see? another site posting the exact same exclusive. I get it from the company/pr's side of things, the more sites the better, but bunching blogs into one big mass when sending out emails is half the reason blogs all look the same these days. The other half is that blogs have all decided that they all like the exact same things, which leads to the same thing being posted around.

The other issue now is with the rise of menswear blogs, we now see an innumerate amount of sites reblogging stuff they've seen on other sites, which all adds to the deja-vu feeling you get when you navigate the blogosphere.

So, there you go, that's why you feel bored browsing blogs these days.